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Earl MacDonald

The pursuit of excellence in his musical knowledge and craft is a crucial facet of Earl MacDonald’s persona. His unwavering diligence and seemingly inexhaustible commitment to the jazz art form are apparent in his performing, writing and teaching. MacDonald is set to release his fifth album as a bandleader — “Open Borders.” For this project, the two-time JUNO-award nominee assembled a lean and mean 10-piece band, capable of capturing the intimate subtleties of a jazz combo, or packing the walloping punch of a full big band. In an age where divisions are often highlighted more than commonalities, Open Borders illustrates the effectiveness and beauty that comes from bringing together people of different backgrounds, life experiences, perspectives and skillsets, to openly collaborate. MacDonald’s last two CDs received JUNO nominations for jazz album of the year

Open Borders

Label: Death Defying Records
Released: 2018
Track listing: Dig In Buddy; Sordid Sort of Fellow; Mirror of the Mind; Appointment in Ghana; Miles Apart; Hit the Road Jack; Smoke and Mirrors; Catch of the Day; Blame It on My Youth; Dolphy Dance; East of the Sun.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra: Suite 150 / A Big Band Portrait

Read "Suite 150 / A Big Band Portrait" reviewed by Jack Bowers

To commemorate Canada's one hundred-fiftieth anniversary in 2017, the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra commissioned eleven of the country's foremost jazz composers to write music “reflecting some aspect of Canada or being Canadian." The resulting Suite 150 was performed for appreciative audiences and recorded for posterity in November 2017 and March 2018 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Earl MacDonald: Open Borders

Read "Open Borders" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Open Borders brings to the fore Canadian-born pianist Earl MacDonald's burnished tentet in a program that consists of eleven sunlit and swinging themes, five of which were composed by the leader. Besides writing, MacDonald did most of the arranging, and he excels in both arenas, as he does on piano (most notably on the standards “Blame ...

Open Borders

Label: Death Defying Records
Released: 2017
Track listing: Dig In Buddy; Sordid Sort Of Fellow; Mirror Mind; Appointment In Ghana; Miles Apart; Hit The Road Jack; Smoke And Mirrors; Catch Of The Day; Blame It On My Youth; Dolphy Dance; East Of The Sun.

NEWS: RECORDING

Pianist, Composer, Arranger Earl MacDonald release new recording “Open Borders”

Pianist, Composer, Arranger Earl MacDonald release  new recording “Open Borders”

Pianist Earl MacDonald, Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Connecticut, is set to release his fifth album as a bandleader—Open Borders. For this project, the two-time JUNO-award nominee assembled a lean and mean 10-piece band, capable of capturing the intimate subtleties of a jazz combo, or packing the walloping punch of a full big ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Earl MacDonald: Open Borders

Read "Open Borders" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Not many piano led ensembles finds the pianist laying as far back in the musical dialogue as Earl MacDonald, who doesn't come anywhere near an extended solo until “Miles Apart" and Percy Mayfield's Ray Charles blow- out “Hit The Road Jack" (tracks five and six respectively). But that's just fine given that MacDonald has charted the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Earl MacDonald: Open Borders

Read "Open Borders" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Politicians might do well to take a few pointers from pianist-arranger Earl MacDonald. As this fine album attests to, it's far better to build bridges than walls, and far more productive to open borders and dialogue than close hearts, minds, and doors. While MacDonald didn't initially set out to make a political statement ...

Quintet Matinee

Label: University of Connecticut
Released: 2015

Mirror of the Mind

Label: Death Defying Records
Released: 2013
Track listing: Mirror of the Mind; A Thousand Memories; Beneath; Blackbird; Bidwell Cronies; Disillusionment; Miles Apart; It Was Whispered; A Priori Perception; Where Thinking Leaves Off; I Never Told You; Bottom Feeders.


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